Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv-G 160 in the test

Rossen Gargolov
Mazda MX-5 Skyaktiv-G 160 in the test
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W a likely we would have Being able to give a text because - as the saying goes - pictures say more than the 800 or so words here. Just take a look at the guy behind the wheel in the first picture of our photo show. Do you see how he grins, how it obviously gives him great pleasure to roll around the corner? With that alone, the Mazda MX-5 has already reached its destination. It's built to make you happy, just for that. In any case, performance is just a waste product.

Mazda MX-5 could use more power

And that's exactly what makes it unique. Normally, driving pleasure also depends on the dynamics. If it rises, he rises with it. Mazda, however, has managed to separate the two from one another. The best proof is the basic version, which waddles awkwardly through curves and has to lever around on its rear axle with a sad 150 Nm. That can't work, your expertise tells you, but then you sit in there with the wind in your hair, the tightly meshed gearshift in one hand, and you know that the last thing missing is definitely lateral acceleration or torque.

The two-liter vacuum cleaner of the top version snorts out with much more pep, shortens straight lines and inclines. But even if it actually makes the MX-5 faster, it doesn't get any more fun because of it - which may be due to the fact that 160 hp and 200 Nm are still simply not enough to scare off belly butterflies. The Mazda MX-5 lives from its concept and its tradition, and generation number four is something like the essence of it: more compact than ever before, lighter than the last two and roadster through and through. The convertible top is decapitated faster than a bottle of beer, the fresh air feeling from Frisian to bitter, the body so delicate that you can scratch it on the sill from the driver's seat, and the engine a free-sucking one.

The highly compressed four-cylinder turns eagerly and snaps forward as soon as you nudge it a little with the accelerator, all good, all fine; the only reason it works so well is because the MX-5 weighs only 1,073 kilos - and only as long as that matters. Up to 180 he persistently swirls up the speedometer, then it takes a good deal of homesickness or a good book to get around the remaining km /h to Vmax.

MX-5 withoutDriving dynamics excesses

And that is exactly where the problem lies with the Mazda MX-5, although in our opinion it is really not: It is nimble, but ends sometime before it begins to get seriously fast the flagpole. Exactly the same thing happens in the slalom: As if turned up, it rushes towards the cones, scurrying around them, wagging along with them, but only comes out again after 9.76 seconds. That is the level of an SLK 350, so rather a lower one.

'Much too soft suspension' is written on the test card, on which the Sener always scribbles his impressions; something else is there that no one was able to decipher afterwards, not even himself; but then there is also 'great lightweight construction fun' - no 'anyway' in front of it, no reason afterwards, but just like that. Because it is so.

A lap time was seldom so irrelevant. Certainly, it decides where the MX-5 ends up - in relation to its predecessors and in relation to its competitors, none of which are direct. It is just not decisive. Mazda is making an effort to do this. The body made of an increased proportion of aluminum and high-strength steel is reinforced by a strut bar for the 160 PS version, plus Bilstein dampers, really snappy brakes, a locking mechanism on the rear axle and wheel dimensions that are not quite as pathetic as in the Base model - 17 inch, 205, as I said: not quite as pathetic.

Mazda MX-5 is a tiny

The screeching of the Bridgestones is still bigger than the Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv-G 160 swirls into the north curve in the test. Normally you grab a car by the horns at the latest, force it in, around, subdue it. You start playing with him, however. Inevitably. And finally he plays along - as a partner, not as a victim.

In the 1500s, you still feel like you're riding a rabbit at a rodeo, constantly afraid of hurting him. Here, however, he holds up nicely, even in the chassis - within the scope of his possibilities. You first have to shoot yourself at the jittery steering, then the Mazda MX-5 can do just about anything: braking at a slight angle in curves, drifting out, pulling across or very obediently along the line, with the latter requiring a lot of self-control . The best thing: As a driver, you are not just a relay station, but also the sounder.

The relationship alone has to be right. The Mazda MX-5 is a tiny little cart, the gearshifts, the cockpit, the dimensions, everything about it is tiny, so tiny that even the small course seems a size too big. In order for its dynamics to be felt, reference points are needed: botany that scurries past the side window, curves, the more, the better, and ideally something that is supposedly overpowering to chase in front of you. The driving pleasure, however, remains huge regardless of all standards.


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